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Functionally interchangeable cis-acting RNA elements in both genome segments of a picorna-like plant virus.

Functionally interchangeable cis-acting RNA elements in both genome segments of a picorna-like plant virus.
Author Information (click to view)

Guo J, Han J, Lin J, Finer J, Dorrance A, Qu F,


Guo J, Han J, Lin J, Finer J, Dorrance A, Qu F, (click to view)

Guo J, Han J, Lin J, Finer J, Dorrance A, Qu F,

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Scientific reports 2017 04 217(1) 1017 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-01243-z
Abstract

Cis-acting RNA structures in the genomes of RNA viruses play critical roles in viral infection, yet their importance in the bipartite genomes of the picorna-like, plant-infecting comoviruses has not been carefully investigated. We previously characterized SLC, a stem-loop structure in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of the bean pod mottle comovirus (BPMV) RNA2, and found it to be essential for RNA2 accumulation in infected cells. Here we report the identification of SL1, a similar cis-acting element in the other BPMV genome segment – RNA1. SL1 encompasses a portion of RNA1 5′ UTR but extends into the coding sequence for nine nucleotides, thus was missed in the previous study. While the stems of SL1 and SLC share little sequence similarity, their end loops are of the same size and identical for 11 of 15 nucleotides. Importantly, SL1 and SLC are functionally interchangeable, and separate exchanges of the stem and loop portions were likewise well tolerated. By contrast, the conserved loop sequence tolerated minimal perturbations. Finally, stem-loop structures with similar configurations were identified in two other comoviruses. Therefore, SL1 and SLC are likely essential comoviral RNA structures that play a conserved function in viral infection cycles.

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